What is transit-oriented development?

In urban planning, transit-oriented development is a type of urban development that maximizes the amount of residential, business and leisure space within walking distance of public transport. Due to rapid urbanisation and the growth in population, various modes of urban planning are being implemented. These measures are taken to reduce the load on urban infrastructure and transportation.

Transit-oriented development in Pune city - Sheet1
TOD Diagram ©complete communities toolbox

Before these planning reforms, urban spaces and big cities were designed keeping the cars and other private vehicles in mind. Public transport is now considered at the core of urban planning to build sustainable cities.  Every essential facility is placed within walking distance and discourages the usage of privately owned vehicles. 

Transit-oriented development in Pune city - Sheet2
Benefits of TOD ©Transit oriented development

Principles of TOD

  1. Quality public transit
  • Strongly linked to urban development 
  • High quality, convenient transport and connects the neighbourhood
  1. Active transport
  • Interests of pedestrians and cyclists should be at the heart of urban planning
  • Important to develop non-motorized transport holistically
Transit-oriented development in Pune city - Sheet3
Image 3 – Connectivity and transportation ©Institute for transportation and development policy
  1. Private vehicle management
  • Car use and parking policies greatly impact the human-oriented urban environment.
  1. Mixed-use neighbourhoods with efficient buildings
  • Enhances the local economy by densifying and diversifying the design of the community.
  • Tapering densities around transport hubs or stations with commercial development in the immediate vicinity with mixed-use and residential development farther from the hub.
Transit-oriented development in Pune city - Sheet4
Tapering densities and mixed-use development ©Institute for transportation and development policy
  1. Neighbourhood centres and vibrant ground floors
  • The built environment with adequate public space promotes social interaction.
  • Public spaces should be connected to the urban transport network and serve as human-centric activity generators.
  1. Public spaces
  • Enhance public life & social interaction and provide a safe environment for pedestrians and cyclists.
  1. Community participation and collective identity
  • Essential to build a vibrant and safe neighbourhood. 
  • Creates a symbiotic relationship between different social groups.
Transit-oriented development in Pune city - Sheet5
Elements of TOD ©Institute for transportation and development policy

Transit-oriented development in India

Transit facilities in India and their usage are in proportion with its safety, affordability, sustainability and accessibility. Achieving these, however, isn’t an easy fix, which is why the public transport system has degraded in the past few years. The measures that are being made by the Ministry of Urban Development (MOUD) to shift the preference towards public transport from secondary to primary. The planned cities and those chosen for the Smart City Mission are at the forefront of this process.

Many cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, etc having Metro Rail or Urban Transit Railway have greatly flourished under the impact of its Multimodal transit facilities. This has kick-started urban transformation by the improvement in infrastructure and the overall betterment of living standards. Pune city has also been added to this list of places employing transit-oriented development with its upcoming Pune Metro. 

TOD in Pune city

Pune is a city known for its cultural backdrop, rich history, education facilities, Commercial & industrial development, the IT sector, etc. All these factors and more have resulted in its ever-expanding boundaries. From the old city to the newly added villages to the PMC limits, the city displays a harmony between the contemporary and the traditional infrastructure. Along with the expanding city limits, the development in infrastructure along with the upcoming metro makes the city apt for transit-oriented development. 

Pune metro comprises of 3 lines, 2 of which are implemented by Maha metro i.e. Maharashtra Metro rail Corporation limited which was initially the Nagpur metro rail corporation. The third line is implemented by PMRDA (Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority). 

Line 1 (PCMC Bhavan to Swargate) – 14 Stations

Line 2 (Vanaz to Ramwadi) – 16 Stations

Line 3 (Shivaji Nagar to Hinjewadi) – 23 Stations

Transit-oriented development in Pune city - Sheet6
Pune map and Metro corridors ©Maps of India

The Metro aims to solve various issues faced by the city such as the traffic congestion, air and sound pollution because of the high no. of private vehicles, Road accidents and the inconvenience due to inefficient transport.  The extreme weather conditions which affect the daily transit of the common man and also the travel duration will also be reduced by the emphasis on public transport.  The energy usage and greenhouse gases emitted by private vehicles are eliminated as the metro does not run on perishable resources. 

The TOD policy has been approved by the state government for the metro corridors. As per PMC’s recommendation, the policy allows the Floor Space Index (F.S.I.) up to 4 in the 500m radius around the metro stations. This however is also affected by the plot area and the road width. The impact of this raised F.S.I. will be spread over a wide range of avenues and is being researched at great depth concerning the various services and amenities. The analysis of the current situation and possible post-TOD situation will be done, which will include the study of land use, plot boundaries, building use and land ownership.

The factors affecting the F.S.I. are as follows

Road width (in m)                    Min Plot area (in sq.m.)                  Permissible F.S.I.                      

9m to 12m                                  <1000                                                       2
12m to 18m                                >1000                                                       2.5
18m to 24m                                >2000                                                       3
24m to 30m                                >3000                                                       3.5
30m and above                          >4000                                                       4

Ring Road

Transit-oriented development in Pune city - Sheet7
Pune map and Proposed Ring road ©Prop story
Proposed Ring road ©Prop story

The connectivity and linkages throughout the city are important for the overall development and the quality of the life for the residents. Another element added to the transit-oriented approach is the proposed Ring Road. The 170 km long ring road is to be developed around Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. PMRDA Pune Ring Road will cover 29 villages around Pune city. The Ring Road will also connect highways such as Pune-Nashik, Mumbai-Pune-Solapur, Pune-Ahmednagar and Pune-Satara. 

Developing transportation based on T.O.D. promotes a symbiotic relationship between dense, compact urban form and public transport use. The Puneites eagerly await the vast development possibilities brought along with the new phase for the city.


Manasi is a young architect who never ceases to be amazed by the stories told by historical structures. She appreciates the power of words as they say what the pictures can’t show. She believes that any piece of art is a form of expression and should be used wisely to say something important.